Video blogging in a business setting is simple another marketing tool, and should be approached as any other marketing campaign you decide to put your energies into. If you are not particularly technical this may seem like a daunting task, but in this blog we’re going to guide you through the basic steps you’ll need to take in order to get started.
STEP 1 – The Idea
The internet is awash with video blogs from all over the world, in order for your blog to stand out and gain any sort of traction, you’ll need to offer something of interest to your audience. Of course, I’m assuming that you know your audience really well already, that you have a clear breakdown of your ‘Ideal Client’ or ‘Best Buyer’. Offer the right video to the right audience and you will soon build a successful video blog with a dedicated audience; establishing your brand in the market place AND developing an audience who will want to become consumers.
Be clear on the purpose of your video blogging; brand establishing, education based marketing, or both? Be mindful of how your video blogs will fit your brand’s personality, what will your style be, smart, casual, always in the office or sometimes not? Will your video blogs be informal or scripted? Will your videos be insights into how the business is run, whose who.. will it be educational with ‘how to’s’ and information based, or maybe a mix of all of these. Will one person or several feature regularly.
It’s important to create a detailed document of intention setting out your full video blog strategy, this will keep you on target to achieve the results you want. Keeping records along the way as measures of performance, even do some split testing.
STEP 2 – Equipment
One of the reasons video blogging has become so ubiquitous online today is that it requires very little in terms of equipment and start up costs. If you wanted an entry level blog, you could shoot and edit the entire thing using your mobile phone. Of course we will aiming to create videos of a higher caliber than your average teenager sat in his bedroom, so we’ll be looking at number of equipment options at a range of budgets.
The two main elements we’ll be looking at will be video recording and audio recording. For the majority of blog makers, the most expensive piece of equipment will be the video camera. Nowadays you’ll find that many blogs are shot in 4k, and it looks like as more people upgrade to 4k monitors they’ll become more and more common. If you feel the need to squeeze as many pixels as possible into your video blog, then we’d recommend the Panasonic Lumix G 4k. For under £750 it gives you the ability to shoot cinematic footage without breaking the bank, and can be controlled remotely so you can record, pause and track without constantly having to move behind the scenes.
If you’re happy to stick to classic 1080p, you could use either a typical dslr such as the Nikon D3300 or a plug & play webcam such as the Logitech C930. Using a USB webcam comes with the added benefit of being able to record directly onto your PC, speeding up the process of transitioning from filming to editing.
If you’re creating a blog which has more action than talking, then you may want to invest in a more rugged option. The weapon of choice for more outdoor bloggers is the Go-Pro, it allows you to shoot hands free, in extreme temperatures and even underwater. So if you decide you want your videos to revolve around sky diving and snorkeling, then the Go-Pro is probably for you.
For audio, you can either rely on the inbuilt microphones in your camera, or you can go down the more professional route of purchasing a standalone mic. For most users a USB mic is going to be the most straightforward option, Blue offer a range of different mics that are simple to use and produce a high quality sound. The Yeti Pro is one of their higher end models, and gives you the option to switch between different modes of recording, allowing you capture the best audio possible for a range of situations, from talking heads to multi person interviews.
Once you have your video and audio sorted, you can start to focus on the extra elements that give your videos that professional edge. There are a number of additional items you can purchase such as tripods, steadicams or even lighting rigs that will boost the quality of your films and help them stand out amongst the crowd.
STEP 3 – Filming
So you’ve got your idea, you got your camera set up, and your mic is set to record. It’s time to film your inaugural video blog post. It may be worth recording through a couple of dry runs to see how you’re coming across on camera before shooting your final footage. It can be a good chance to make sure you’re speaking at the right pace and volume, as well as giving you a chance to make any visual tweaks you feel may be necessary, such as lighting, or even a change of outfit if needs be.
If your blog involves shooting in multiple locations, then taking the time to set up aesthetically pleasing camera angles and framing can make the difference between your run of the mill video and an eye catching blog that keeps people coming back for more.
STEP 4 – Editing
Once you’re happy with the video that you’d shot, it’s time to cut it down to the best bits. Video blogs can last anywhere from under a minute to over 30, but the most successful video bloggers usually stick to around 4-6 mins per vid. Long enough to get their message across, but not so long that their viewers lose interest.
Many video bloggers use a technique called “Jump-Cutting”. This is where you take your footage and remove any long pauses or awkward silences. It’s creates a fast paced video and allows you to fit much more into a short space. Others simply leave the camera rolling and capture a conscious stream of thought, then go through afterwards and cut together shots to create fleshed out arguments and ideas.
You may want to edit in some background music to tie the whole video together. There’s plenty of royalty free music out there for those of you on a budget, but by commissioning a unique piece you can give your audience a theme to remember you by, and have a song that fits perfectly with your style of blog.
STEP 5 – Sharing
There are a number of different platforms that you can use to share your video blog. Youtube is the most popular site for personal and professional blogs, but you can also share blogs on vimeo, twitter, and since they’ve uncapped their video length limit you can even use instagram.
In order to attain the most coverage for your blog you’ll probably want to post it on more than just one site. Modern bloggers rely on traffic from all corners of the web to maximise their audience and capture viewers from a range of demographics.
Once your blog is up and running, you’ll probably need to develop a thick skin when it comes to viewer feedback. No matter how flawless your blog is, there is always going to be a handful of people out there who decide that it’s the worst thing they’ve ever come across online, and will feel the need to tell you so. So long as these voices remain in the minority, you’re probably on the right track. That’s not to say to should ignore all negative feedback from your audience, it’s always a good idea to read through your comments and make note of any improvements that you feel could be beneficial.
By following these 5 steps you’ll be well on your way to having your video blog up and running. But the fastest way to learn how to run a successful blog is to get out there and get started! Give yourself a schedule and stick to it religiously. If you promise your viewers 2 videos a week you’ll find yourself creating content and learning the ropes of video production faster than you ever thought possible.
Be authentic to the brand of your business, give your clients the information they want in a clear and fun way and you’ll see your fan numbers and sales rising higher and higher.
A perfect example I can give you of how regular video blogging has benefited it business take a look at ‘ShetlandPonyClubTV’ they are always fully booked with long waiting lists, they send out their video updates every Wednesday at 4pm as regular as clockwork – that’s how you build a following.